Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

'Oldest club' Tesco deal approved

Cefn Druid's Plas Kynaston Lane's ground
Tesco is to build on Cefn Druid's Plas Kynaston Lane's ground

A land deal which will give one of the oldest football clubs in Wales a 3,000-capacity stadium has been approved.

Wrexham councillors made a site visit at Newi Cefn Druids' Plas Kynaston Lane ground at Cefn Mawr to consider the planning application by Tesco.

The retail giant is to build a 25,000 sq ft store on the land, creating a new home for the club at Rhosymedre.

Club chairman Brian Mackie said: "I think this gives us a new stadium to be proud of."

The club had said funding for its youth academy was dependent on having a ground that meets new Uefa standards from the 2010-2011 season.

Tesco claimed the multimillion-pound proposal would create at least 140 jobs and see the creation of one of its first "environmentally efficient" superstores in Wales.

However highways officers had raised concerns at a previous planning meeting over the possible impact of the development on roads in the area.

The decision to relocate was not taken lightly, but without this development Druids would not have been able to play in the top flight of Welsh football
Brian Mackie, chairman, Newi Cefn Druids

The site visit to the club's current ground at Cefn Mawr and the proposed new site was arranged after Cefn ward councillor Howard Moysen raised objections to the scheme, citing concerns about traffic levels.

The developers involved in the proposals said they had responded by introducing a range of improvements including a new link road which would reduce congestion on Well Street.

The planned new stadium, including 500 seats, covered terraces, a clubhouse and parking for 100 vehicles, will be built about a mile from Plas Kynaston Lane, near a disused quarry on land to the west of Rock Road.

Mr Mackie had said the development would be worth "something in the region of £1m" to the club at a time when it was not able to find the £50,000 needed for a minimum upgrade of Plas Kynaston Lane.

Artist's impression of the "environmentally efficient" store
Tesco says the planned store will create about 140 jobs locally

He said: "This development is the culmination of over two years of negotiations by the Druids board of directors and is the light at the end of a long tunnel, which at times we thought had been switched off!

"As a football stadium, this new facility will be, apart from Wrexham's, the best in the area and match any in the league, and the availability of the new social club to all social groups will also be an asset to the area.

"Plaskynaston has been the Druids home for almost 50 years and holds a lot of memories for a lot of people and the decision to relocate was not taken lightly, but without this development Druids would not have been able to play in the top flight of Welsh football."

Title claim

The club said it may have to stage home games at the Queensway Stadium in Wrexham until the new complex is ready.

The club, nicknamed The Ancients, was formed as Plasmadoc FC in 1869, becoming Druids in 1872.

But the title of the oldest club in Wales is also claimed by some fans at Wrexham FC, which was formed in the same year.

Cefn Druids was founded in 1992 when Cefn Albion FC and Druids United FC amalgamated. The club is sponsored by the new Glyndwr University, formerly the North East Wales Institute, known as Newi.

In 1999, the club was promoted to the League of Wales, now known as the Welsh Premier League.

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SEE ALSO
Plans for 'oldest club' unveiled
02 Oct 08 |  Mid Wales

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